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Baked Mac and Cheese

The most decadent baked mac and cheese with a delicious crunchy golden topping.

Author: Kami | NoBiggie.net
  • 16oz.  elbow macaroni cooked to al dente
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • tablespoon butter
  • 1/3  cup  all purpose flour
  • cups  whole milk
  • cups  sharp cheddar cheese grated
  • cups  Gruyere cheese grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
For the Topping:
  • 1 1/2  cups  Panko bread crumbs
  • tablespoon  butter melted
  • 1/2  cup  Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/4  teaspoon  smoked paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a large 3 qt or 4 qt baking dish and set aside.

  2. Combine the grated cheeses in a large bowl and set aside.

  3. Cook the pasta until al dente (a little under cooked). Drain the macaroni pasta, and move it to a large bowl. Drizzle the cooked pasta with olive oil and toss to coat. Set pasta aside to cool while you make the cheese sauce.

To Make the Cheese Sauce:
  1. Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan.

  2. Whisk in the flour and continue whisking for about 1 minute until the butter and flour makes a roux.

  3. Gradually whisk in the milk until mixture is smooth.

  4. Continue whisking for another few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  5. Add in half of the grated cheese and whisk until smooth. Add the other half of the grated cheese and continue whisking until creamy and smooth. Sauce will be thick.

  6. Stir in the cooked pasta until combined and pasta is fully coated with the cheese sauce.
Pour half of the mac and cheese into the prepared baking dish. Add in remaining grated cheese and then add the remaining mac and cheese.

For the Mac and Cheese Topping:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the Panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, melted butter and smoked paprika. Sprinkle this mixture over the top and bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and golden brown. Serve warm.